First Ride: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Aug 5, 2015
by Richard Cunningham  



The boys from Cannondale dropped in to Southern California with a pickup truck full of their latest trail bike. The Habit is the East Coast bike brand's latest edition to its Trail range, but it should be in the "Overmountain." It's an all new platform based upon 27.5-inch wheels, a simplified 120-millimeter-travel suspension chassis and new version of the carbon Lefty suspension strut. The purpose of the Habit is two-fold: to maximize your performance, and to boost the fun factor of your trail riding experience. Key to both goals is the Habit's progressive geometry - along with some other tricks, like its RockShox Full Sprint remote lockout that controls both the shock and its Lefty strut, and a roomy cockpit that is spec'd to please customers with aggressive riding styles.

Cannondale is banking on the success of the new bike, offering ten models (including two female specific bikes) that range from a wallet-breaking $12,250 for the limited edition Carbon Black Inc, to the very affordable AL 6, which retails for $1,950. Top models feature carbon fiber frames and suspension, mid-priced versions use carbon front sections with aluminum swingarms, and the three lowest priced Habits feature a newly developed aluminum chassis that is a mirror image of its carbon parent. The Habit looks sharp and, as it turns out, it rides as well as it looks.



Habit Carbon 1 at a Glance:

• Frame: Carbon throughout, single-pivot type rear suspension with carbon rocker link. 120mm travel "Zero Pivot" flex-stay swingarm design, 1.5" head tube, BB 30 Pressfit bottom bracket. 142x12 axle spacing.
• Key numbers: 68-degree head angle 74-degree seat angle, 13.1 inch BB, 23"/58.4cm top tube (med)
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Fork: Lefty 2.0 Carbon, 120mm, XLR, 50mm offset, remote lockout
• Shock: RockShox Monarch DebonAir XX, remote lockout
• Drivetrain SRAM XX1/X01, 11-speed
• Crankset: Cannondale HollowGram Si, 30t SpideRing
• Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC, 180/180mm
• Wheelset: Cannondale CZero Carbon 27.5"
• Color option: Berzerker Green
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL, Women's XS
• Frame Weight: 4.36 pounds/1980 grams (med)
• Weight Complete: 25.5 pounds/11.6kg (med)
• MSRP: $7460 USD
• Contact: Cannondale
Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
Jerome Clementz on pace, riding the Habit Carbon 1. Cannondale photo


I rode the Habit Carbon 1, which retails for $7460, outfitted with a SRAM one-by drivetrain and brakes. The Carbon 1 introduces the brand's latest endeavor, the CZero carbon wheelset, which is designed by Cannondale and manufactured in Asia. On the scale, the Habit Carbon 1 weighs almost exactly 25.5 pounds, plus or minus how much Stan's sealant is in its Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires - which is lightweight by any standard in this class. It feels roomy in the cockpit and its steering feels marvelously light and balanced. I was asked to arrange a ride that would showcase a 120-millimeter-travel design, so I opted for a park near San Diego that I use quite often to review PB's mid-travel trail bikes. The boys from Cannondale got to sample some of Southern California's hard pack soil, high-speed singletacks, punchy climbs and boulder fields, while I had an opportunity to determine whether the new Habit hits its marks on familiar ground.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
With only 120 millimeters of travel, Cannondale can eliminate the dropout pivot and save some weight.
Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
A look at the Habit's RockShox Monarch Debonair damper. The carbon rocker link uses a special long-fiber molding process.


Technical highlights:

Tough chassis: Cannondale says it uses a special carbon layup for its mountain bike frames that integrates ballistic materials which are normally used for military armor. They call it "Ballistec" and its purpose is to add toughness and impact resistance to the frame, rather than exclusively concentrating on stiffness and light weight. As an alpha member of Cannondale's trail bke range, the Habit is purpose built to be thrashed hard daily. Reportedly, a medium-sized Habit frame (painted, with hardware), weighs well under four and a half pounds, so that impact resistance should come in handy.

Cross-pollination: The Habit borrows a bag of tricks from Cannondale's design experience building road and mountain bikes. The ZeroPivot stays share profiles used to keep pro road frames torsionally rigid, while offering some relief from vertical impacts. The caliper mount is the new flat road standard, which is lighter, more reliable and easier to produce in carbon. In similar fashion to how some carbon crank arms are produced, the suspension's rocker link is molded by compacting thousands of ribbons cut from pre-impregnated carbon fiber under heat and pressure, which yields a finished link with immense omnidirectional strength, similar to that of a metal part. The main swingarm and seatstay pivots use a locking taper, which has become the industry standard by popular demand, to ensure there is no bearing play. Road riders loathe creaking components, so to that end, the mountain bike guys borrowed the latest tricks from the road group and updated the Habit's press-fit BB30 bottom bracket system to keep it silent.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
The RockShox Full Sprint remote also switches the Lefty's lockout.
Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
The hydraulic fitting swivels so the rebound dial can turn freely.


Racing Influences: Lessons learned from racing enduro and XC led designers to move the shock to the top tube in order to make room for a water bottle or tool storage on the down tube. And, while the hoses for the internally routed dropper seatpost and the Monarch shock's X-loc remote lockout are internally routed, Cannondale chose to route the more troublesome rear brake hose and full-length derailleur cable housing externally to facilitate quick repairs on race day, or the evening before an important ride. Also borrowed from XC racing, is the use of RockShox's Full Sprint hydraulic remote lockout - a dual button that locks out both fork and shock with one push. Cannondale's Lefty uses a similar hydraulic mechanism as the RockShox X-loc system, so the two firms collaborated to share the same control.

All-mountain DNA: The Habit's suspension gets its DNA from the Jekyll. Because the rider can switch off the suspension at will, Cannondale could afford to tune the Habit's 2.0 Carbon Lefty's XLR cartridge and its RockShox Monarch shock to favor the downs and optimize traction. The way it was explained was that the new Lefty cartridge has a better balance between its high and low-speed damping curves. A new air piston allows lower spring pressures, so the Lefty can perform better on smaller hits, while the XLT damper provides better support in the mid-stroke. Using the Debonair volume sleeve and a few volume spacers, RockShox achieved a similar tune on the Monarch shock.


Habit Carbon 1 Geometry:

Habit Women s 1 2
Cannondale also offers two female-specific models: the Habit Women's 1 and Women's 2 (XS, SM and MD).


Progressive geometry: The same could be said for the Habit's frame numbers. Cannondale learned from enduro racing that super low bottom brackets may turn well, but time and concentration lost due to errant pedal strikes isn't worth the benefit of a slightly lower center of mass. The Habit's BB is set at 13.1 inches - which still provides the stabilizing factor of a 19-millimeter negative drop, while maintaining enough pedal clearance to keep the cranks churning through rock gardens.

Up front, the Lefty 2.0 has 50 millimeters of offset, which plays well with its 27.5-inch wheel and 68-degree head angle. When steering or making corrections with the front wheel, the tire's contact patch doesn't feel as if it is moving forward or back as the handlebar is turned, so the front end feels very predictable. The medium frame's 23-inch top tube is ample, but not long by enduro standards. It feels roomy, though, because the steep, 74-degree seat angle effectively lengthens the bike's front-center and its wheelbase. The Habit gets its stability from its wheelbase and steering geometry, and it gets its playfulness from frame angles that are at least one degree steeper than present fashion dictates.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
Sensible gearing: 30-tooth narrow-wide chainring, licensed by SRAM.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
Up close look at Cannondale's 23mm ID CZero carbon rim.
Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
Carbon, 760mm handlebar and a 60mm aluminum stem.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016
SRAM Guide RSC brake with flat, road bike style caliper mount.


First Impressions:
bigquotesAfter a day in the saddle aboard the Habit carbon 1, I understand why Cannondale is so excited about its release. The Habit is the bike you'd rather have when you are huffing your 160-millimeter-travel enduro racer up a long hill on your way to bag a gripping descent - and, most of the time, you'd want it for the downs too. It zips up technical climbs and on smoother ascents, a push of the Full Sprint button will make you feel like you are pedaling a chubby World Cup XC machine. In lockout mode, there are blow-off circuits in both the Lefty strut and the Monarch shock to handle larger amplitude bumps, but it won't be a comfortable ride. With the suspension open, the Habit pedals quite well and in fact, that is where you will probably ride it most of the time. With the lockout engaged, the bike chatters around corners and drifts under braking. With the suspension open, the Habit feels planted almost all the time and there is ample support in the mid-stroke to keep your legs feeling fresh.

Where the Habit earns its highest marks is in the steering department, The bike eats up corners and it does so in an easy manner that requires very little pressure on the grips. The simple single-pivot rear suspension tends to stiffen up under braking, and even with its grippy 2.25-inch Nobby Nic tires, I found that I was skidding a bit more than necessary while slowing for high-speed corners until I adjusted my braking style.

The surety of the Habit on the downs means that you'll find yourself wishing for more suspension travel, but neither end of the bike bottoms harshly, and even if it did, I don't think that would stop you from wringing the Cannondale out at every chance. Cannondale is going to make a lot of riders happy with the Habit, especially considering that there is one to fit almost every budget in the enthusiast-level trailbike market. When asked, I replied that the only improvements that I would want would be a little more suspension travel up front and more aggressive rubber. Turns out that Cannondale already has that covered. Mike Levy will be picking up the Habit SE for a long-term review - it's a pumped up version of the Carbon 1 that sports a 130mm Lefty, larger tires, and a more gravity-oriented component spec. Cheers until then. - RC



View full sized and additional images in the Habit First Look Gallery.



MENTIONS: @Cannondale, @SramMedia, @schwalbe


213 Comments

  • + 153
 I would have preferred they review the $12,000USD one. There's no way I'm going to pay $7,000 for a bike, so they might as well do the cool one.
  • + 33
 They sell $7k bikes so you feel like you're getting a "great deal" when you buy a $2-4k version.
  • + 21
 I can already hear the sound of Pinkbike commenter's heads exploding because of the 12k price.
  • + 161
 Just to put things into perspective, $12,000 will buy:

1) 2015 Nissan Versa
2) 2015 Hyundai Accent
3) 2015 Toyota Yaris
4) 2015 Kia Rio
5) 2015 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom
6) 2016 Honda CRF450R AND a 2016 Honda CRF125F (for your kid)
7) 2016 YT Tues AL Comp AND a 2016 YT Capra CF Comp1 AND a used Toyota pickup to haul them around in!

The bike industry must think we are filthy rich or crazy stupid. Of course most of us are neither.
  • + 2
 For an extra 10000 you can get the "black carbon " edition. So tell me again where a carbon framesets with some better components ie worth the extra 5000 or 10000 for that matter. Lol this is highway robbery at its finest!!! I bike shouldn't cost 4 months wages
  • + 21
 Just to also put it into perspective, they probably only plan on selling a few hundred of them whereas the other things (at least 5 of them) will number in the tens of thousands. Because their volume is so low, the costs are going to be high.
  • + 21
 @ka-brap if you're not careful you'll get banned.
  • + 13
 I upvoted because that's actually funny
  • + 9
 seems cool. single pivot. proper travel. good spec. looks like it would ride well. every year I wonder what would be better about the new crop of cool bikes? I ride 1-2 hours a day to justify a $4-5k bike, so this black bike would actually take over my day and I'd have to ride 4-5 hours on the daily to get my value. I clearing my schedule, getting rid of my family and hitting the trail.
  • + 66
 Cannondale understands its marketplace. They have a small number of waiting customers who want premium components like Enve wheels and Shimano XTR, and are happy to pay the asking price of the Carbon Black Inc, so they don't deny them the chance to have one. (Not too many of those folks in the comment section today.) Cannondale also worked hard to spec nine other versions of the Habit that are priced far more affordably - so customers who do not have a wad of disposible income can enjoy thier newest trail bike. (Both are mentioned in the same sentence). Cheers for Cannondale - they didn't force its customers to wait years until its technology "trickles down" like so many high-end component makers do.
  • + 15
 Bless your heart, @RichardCunningham. Mind if I borrow some of that when I get folks ranting at me about the price of bikes at the shop I work at?
  • + 41
 Spykr^^^: HAHA! perhaps a satorical op-ed is due that begs the question: what kind of bikes would tech editors ride if they had to pay full retail?
  • + 4
 I'd read it... then make observations as to the legitimacy of your parentage in the comments. Razz
  • + 14
 @RichardCunningham You joke, but I think something where pinkbike's editors review their own bikes would be very interesting, even if done tounge in cheek. Reviewing things retrospectively can often be a lot of fun. If you haven't seen it, check out the regular car reviews youtube channel for an example.
  • + 1
 Spend so much and get a frayed rd cable.
  • - 1
 @Spykr Don't borrow too much cause then you'll end up banned like RC and ka-brap are bound too..

Oh wait he's a MOD, so allowed to use logic. Welp Spykr enjoy your time off with ka-brap.
  • + 0
 Hey man, cable tips are extra.
  • + 6
 @rorykeith Or they review each other's bikes
  • + 2
 @mhoshal Depends on what you make in 4 months. Some people make lots of coins per month and who cares what they want to spend money on. It is the reason there are Nissan Versas and Aston Martins (or whatever luxury car most people can not afford). I would rather listen to a review on a bike like the one above versus a Supercycle special.
  • + 1
 @aoneal I'll take a 7) pleeeease
  • + 2
 I like Cannondale, and I realize their heritage is in single pivots, but times have changed, and they need to design a suspension that doesn't require so many pedaling aids or stiffens on the brakes. Especially if your going to charge $$$$.
  • + 19
 " (Not too many of those folks in the comment section today.) "

The people who buy $12k bikes don't need to seek validation on an internet forum from trolls who cannot afford the same bike.
  • + 2
 @SlodownU I'm inclined to agree but many are predicting that we'll see suspension swing back (sorry...) in the direction of fewer, more simple pivots as shocks get more intelligent. As someone who rides a horst-link bike, maintenance is a pain as regular riding means replacement of the bearings once a year. My Enduro has like 28 bearings so that is a lot of time and money.
  • - 5
flag aoneal (Aug 5, 2015 at 14:40) (Below Threshold)
 If I had $12,000 to blow, I'd give a huge chunk to Will Olson's family, a huge chunk to worthwhile charities, another huge chunk to trial funds, and then go buy a nice used bike that will make me just as happy as a $12,000 bike. Some things (i.e. expensive bikes) just don't make sense.
  • + 3
 Quite often i would rather have the extra durability of a pivotless design. I ride enough that maintenance is no longer amusing- it's a PITA. Kudos to RC for having the most concise yet informative articles on Pinkbike.
  • + 5
 @mhoshal

Why shouldn't a bike cost four months wages? Firstly that's only a month more than they tell you to spend on a wedding ring, and a wedding ring doesn't do anything. Secondly, you do realise people's wages differ, right? You do know some people make 12k in six weeks, right?

@deeeight

Spot on, the people buying 12k bikes are usually busy making the sort of money that can afford 12k bikes.
  • + 1
 @Ryan83 I agree that smarter suspension will change the game, but the smartest suspension in the world won't stop brake jack. I rode various single pivots for years before I switched to DW. I would rather pay $12k on a spec'd out DW bike like a Mojo HD.
  • + 1
 He's right you know, it's a bit like brand new cars from dealerships... who buys them? I mean I'm glad someone does but if you had $12k wouldn't you want to build up your own bike, custom like? Cue comments about rich dentists who wouldn't know what to spec?
  • + 1
 a ring doesn't plug a hole
  • + 0
 @RC "Cannondale understands its marketplace. They have a small number of waiting customers who want premium components like Enve wheels and Shimano XTR, and are happy to pay the asking price of the Carbon Black Inc, so they don't deny them the chance to have one. (Not too many of those folks in the comment section today.)"

That small number of customers are usually people who MUST pay a lot for a bike and then tell everybody about it. A lot of them are rich poseurs who wants to be treated as connoisseurs which they aren't despite how much they willing to spent. I had "pleasure" to chat with them and 9 o 10 knows nothing about bikes but wants to have "cult" hight end bike mostly for showing off.

Although you can't deny Cannondale charisma, history and some really good ideas theirs bikes are ridiculously expensive and when you see some broken high end frames you can't start to think that they are over priced.

If you are real MTB enthusiast you don't need to spend equivalent of a NEW car to have truly awesome bike.

Best wishes to all Cannondale owner's - I know that there are cool people among you Smile
  • + 55
 "Road riders loathe creaking components, so to that end, the mountain bike guys borrowed the latest tricks from the road group and updated the Habit's press-fit BB30 bottom bracket system to keep it silent."

Please lay off the marketing BS! Press-fit BB30 bottom brackets are some of the main culprits for creaks on bikes. How is this one creak free?
  • + 8
 Maybe they improved tolerances.
  • + 1
 i don't why people have so much issues w BB pressfit, have one in my tranceX 29er for 3years NOW!!! DH XC Trail EN, i ve done everything with this bike, NO problem with the BB92, oh i do regular maintenance and service the bb twice a year, Smoooooth , PS don't forget to face your cups, and assume its been done at the factory or when they get assembled my2cents dan
  • + 30
 @trailstar2danman
Save that bike man, you apparently have the one PF BB mtb that doesn't creak. That's like a collector's item or something.
  • + 2
 I have had that bike as well for two years, love the bike, never did any maintenance on the BB and have a very smooth operating BB with no squeaks. Must be a model specific thing?
  • + 6
 Count me in as having a bike that doesn't creak. I've had 2 Stumpys and an Enduro that were all trouble free. Not sure what all the hate is about. Oh wait, change in standards freaks everyone out. Forgot.
  • + 3
 www.bbinfinite.com will stop any creaking
  • + 3
 I became a bb30 changing ninja when I had my Cannondale Claymore. Pretty much needed taking apart and changing as much as brake pads. Sometimes they'd literally last two weeks before the play started.
  • + 1
 I also have been riding pressfit BB for years and thousands of miles (Giant Anthem, Giant Reign, Giant Trance). I don't see what all the complaints are about, seems to work fine for me. Yes, you do need some different tools to replace them, but if you've got the tools the actual process is no more onerous than a threaded BB. In fact, I would say I used to have to re-tighten threaded bottom brackets every couple of months to keep them from creaking, but press-fit has been maintenance free, they seem to stay creak free with no maintenance until the bearings die.
  • + 0
 PF30 in my spearfish and creak free for four years.
  • - 1
 Got to love these people who come along and say "But my pressfit bottom bracket has never caused me and problems".
Just because yours works doesn't mean everyone is wrong about them.
It's like owning a french car (i.e. Peugeot, Citroen, Renault) which are some of the most unreliable cars on the market but that doesn't mean all of them are going to break down.
You might be one of the lucky few to have one that doesn't go wrong.
  • + 6
 And conversely you might be one of the few that actually had a problem. Pretty smart of you to only see one side if this.
  • + 1
 maybe that explains why this shitty bike costs so much, they had to spend half a billion fucking dollars getting the tolerances so minuscule that after 3 years of use and abuse it still won't creak. rather than make it easy on themselves and fucking thread it.
  • - 1
 speedy06^
""""Got to love these people who come along and say "But my pressfit bottom bracket has never caused me and problems".""""

some of us have all the luck, got to love this people who come along and say. ""Got to love these people who come along and say "But my pressfit bottom bracket has never caused me and problems".""

cry me a river.!
  • + 2
 I fixed my PF BB30 issues on my Jekyll by having FSA's metal sleeve pressed into my frame and then threading in my XT cups!! Bearings died so so quickly in BB30!
  • - 2
 Wow I make a comment and you guys get butthurt over it, jeez.
  • + 1
 you got to love people who make comments about others comments, and then want to justify it by commenting again about who he;s getting neg prop, suck it up butthurt cups.
ps your comment was wide open for all to comment on -/+. some of us have experience (25yrs) in and with bikes components. Regular maintenance and service and proper installation (of your PF BB) will always give you the results your looking for.
  • + 23
 its that bike you'd rather have when huffing your 160mm enduro on that big ass up hill, except you want that 160mm bike waiting for you up there to go down...
  • + 6
 OR OR!!!! ORRRRRRR!!! i can ride my 160 slowly cause i don't give a shit about climb times and then get rowdy down...
  • + 3
 Yeah, uh my 160 actually pedals pretty good. I mean, it's not a hardtail, but it doesn't pedal noticeably worse than any other FS bike I've ridden, regardless of travel.
  • + 2
 well shit for $12.5k I can buy 6 of my current bike.
  • + 1
 for 12k I got these and several thousands left for other bike
www.pinkbike.com/photo/12540063
  • + 17
 Cannondale should be paying Jerome Clementz more money, seriously. He has brought them back into relevance for everything not requiring spandex.
  • - 5
flag rickaybobbay (Aug 5, 2015 at 21:38) (Below Threshold)
 noooooot really. i haven't seen a single cannondale on my local stomping ground.
  • + 17
 Perfect bike for guys who are closer to the XC than Downhill spectrum like me: great at XC but with decent enough geometry to handle rougher stuff too
  • + 12
 Sorry djordjevic117, I guess not everyone can live near treacherous DH terrain around every corner like I do here in Indiana. You're welcome to visit anytime you'd like though and I'll lend you a DH machine. 120mm won't cut it here in Indiana, you need the extra 40-80mm to see over the corn so you can tell where you're going.
  • + 4
 Looks a lot like the new yeti ASR.
  • + 3
 Looks like it might fill a niche between a weighs-nothing XC bike and a Trail bike. Perfect for here in Tn..
  • + 2
 I'd have this as a second bike (if I could justify buying a second bike!). It looks ideal for a lot of non DH specific stuff in the UK and I bet it'd be great fun/engaging to ride too.
  • + 16
 No Dyad?! Wow... we all know that thing was a HUGE success! Can't believe they went with a reliable, lightweight, easy to maintain and service RS. Mind Blown.
  • + 2
 it is a modern version of RZ120 which I like a lot. i would love to have this bike if the price is right if not...YT will get me money!
  • + 5
 DYAD doesn't make sense in a bike like this! I run it on the '12 Jekyll and it rocks. No issues what so ever. And I've only. Just had it serviced for first time! I'd love to have this bike tho.
  • + 6
 the only problem with the DYAD is that there isn't any competition or aftermarket support for pull shocks. the jekyll rips with a proper fork and chainguide.
  • + 1
 I have mine tuned (by ilDoctorBike Spain,Madrid)A pair of custom joints and different oil viscosity grade and needle bearings on both extremes of de dyad . It feels more supplier and it works more quickly . Dyad is for real mechanics. I sent mine to Fox Spain and they send it back whit de air valves crossed...
  • + 1
 @wuttupausten couldn't agree more with that. It's a brilliant shock I just wish I could at least try other shocks out on the bomb proof frame!! A serious fork like you say, and you can anything on the Jekyll.
  • + 13
 I have been riding this bike for the past month now and have 60-70 hrs on it. I would agree with most of what was said in the review. The bike rips! It is more fun to ride than either my XC dualie or my 160 Enduro bike and nearly as capable as either at both ends of the spectrum. Bump the travel up to 130 in the front and add bigger tires and it can ride with any Enduro bike. Swap for light fast rolling tires and line up for an XC. I find this is the bike I take out when I don't know what I'm getting into...Long days in the mountains! Firm up the suspension and it shreds a pump track and dirt jumps. It's very versatile. However, like any bike that is ridden hard it will creak at times but not from the BB in my case. Easy fix by cleaning out the pivots. I very seldom use the lockout while on dirt as it's efficient platform doesn't really need it and I like the added climbing traction an active suspension provides. I have ridden a lot of Lefties and this is the best one yet. The same amazing stiffness but with improved suppleness throughout the stroke. I switched to my own seat and grips and use XTR pedals and it weighs 25lbs. I switched the dropper post lever to under the bar on the left and the lockout to over the bar on the right for better ergonomics.Overall very solid bike that I think most people will find is very fun to ride and more capable than expected.
  • + 1
 How do you go about bumping the travel up to 130mm?
  • + 1
 I hear you on this one, literally. Love how this bike rides, pedals, flies, but yeah noticing some creaks. How often did you end up re-greasing pivot areas? Mine seems to emanate from the main linkage near the BB.
  • + 17
 What i lose in one stanchion, i gain in donuts.
  • + 14
 Bring back the Prophet!!
  • + 2
 loved the prophet
  • + 3
 You know they'd just f*ck up the Prophet if they brought out a new version, with Pressfit BB, and all the other annoying stuff. Used to ride a Prophet MX for a while and truly loved that bike in the low/slack setting. Wish I still had it now with a -2 degree Works Headset (in its 1.5 HT) and updated fork, shock, short stem/wide bars and some light strong wheels.
  • + 1
 So many bikes (so little time?) I would've love to have owned that are now gone.. The prophet was one.
  • + 1
 I used to have a Prophet. It was great for the time (relatively light with long travel), but that single pivot falling-rate suspension sucked monkey balls compared to modern designs. You had to run a platform shock due to the falling-rate, and the suspension would lock up almost completely when the rear brake was on, which made low-speed technical moves like getting around a rocky switchback difficult.
  • + 1
 ,,,maybe I'm too old ... but damn !!!... it's a Prophet !
  • + 1
 I still have a prophet!!! Ironically though, I bought a new bike yesterday - I'm starting to think I'm going to miss the prophet when my new bike arrives and I have to sell it to make space!!!
  • + 2
 Ya know, if you really miss the prophet that much, the Santa Cruz Heckler bears a ridiculously close resemblance to the prophet; just with more up to date geometry (and a much heftier price tag!): www.santacruzbicycles.com/en/us/heckler
  • + 1
 If you love them that much just get this www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1803651 and have change for a small boat.

It's actually pretty sweet, wondering whether some tall could use it for knockin about and cockin about. Like a 4xLt kinda thing.
  • + 2
 still running my prophet...hard. 160 fork up front gives it a 67 degree head angle. just right. never selling it.
  • + 1
 @keystonebikes - I would never sell mine were it not the case that it's a little too short on reach for me. Prophets definitely still hold their own against modern bikes, despite mine being 6 or 7 years old now! In other news though; loving the Project Frankendale Smile
  • + 2
 thanks dude! glad u like it. I just broke my arm on Friday, so ill have plenty of time to get finishing touches done and do a whole blog on the build. stay tuned.
  • + 9
 When I eventually want another 'xc' bike, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a Cannondale. Have I got my wires crossed though, I'm pretty sure I've read people going on about how well the lefty tracks and how stiff it is?

And well done for keeping everyone happy with builds from 2k up to 12k. 12k. Just had to say it twice.
  • + 4
 The Lefty rides and tracks like a dream. Such a stiff fork! They're ride quality is getting better and better as Cannondale commits to better internals for them as well.
  • + 12
 would rather have a transition scout
  • + 2
 ^^^this
  • + 0
 Hell ya!!
  • + 7
 Always interesting to see and read that bike manufacturers are adding "addatives" to make their carbon frames as strong as say...
Steel or aluminium?
  • + 20
 It's all marketing BS so they can invent and copyright a word like,"Ballistec" to go with "Over Mountain." If one of my friends said "let's go ride some over mountain trails this week!" I'd kick him in the balls and stop being friends with him.

They throw words around like they don't mean anything anymore. I work in manufacturing and a more accurate term for these materials is just "composites". This includes fiberglass, carbon, kevlar, etc
  • + 3
 What the hell was thermoplastic? I had a thermoplastic sts-dh, always just told anyone who asked "it's 'thermoplastic'.. yeah I don't know.. Probably a bit like carbon fibre."
  • + 3
 A thermo plastic is a plastic which can be heated and reshaped and reset more than once (as opposed to a thermo-setting plastic which is heated and set in one shape and cannot be reshaped)

True thermo plastics would not be a good thing to make a bike frame from, neither would thermo setting plastics.
  • + 1
 Yeah I suspect it was a thermo setting. They used to have a mold which the cnc'd headtube, bb and seatcluster junctions sat in with the plastic running through the three. The would 'inflate' it till it fit the mold. And yeah, you're right, seems like it was pointless. Not a bad bike per se, but clearly nonsense because thermoplastic has hardly been mentioned in over fifteen years.
  • + 1
 But it remains one of the best looking bikes of all-time. People could not walk by that bike in the shop without staring ( and usually fondling) it.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham so are they dumping the Trigger line-up? or is that going up in travel, and the Jekyll also going up in travel, and having the Habit slot between the Trigger and the Scalpel?

And to all the whiners of $12K bikes...get a freakin' life. Buy the $2K model, or $3K, or whatever your budget allows and MOVE ON. I have an old car, yet could afford more, and I'm not crying/spitting/complaining when I see a BMW, MB, Lambo or whatever else high end car that I can't afford. It's the rider/driver's money, disposable income, budget allocation decision, etc. There are guys out there riding $6K bike which earn $40K a year and there are guys out there riding $12K bikes and earning $400K a year...who's the best resource allocator? By reading the comments, the $6K bike rider is so much smarter...reality would tell you otherwise...live and let live...sit back, have a beer, read the forums and enjoy the technical specs of high bikes vs getting mad at the manufacturers for having high-end bikes offered...jeez...
  • + 5
 much lefty hate, having owned 2 lefty bikes over the years, it may look weird but it's a bauss, you can't take a bad line with that thing. this is a good bike for their line-up, I bet it will do well.
  • + 3
 I don't hate the performance, but I really don't like the looks of them. Tried one and it took a while to stop worrying about only having 1 leg, but after that it rode very well.

Didn't Gracia use one got 4x back in the days when he was Cannondale's golden boy?
  • + 1
 I actually want leftylife. Does that make me weird? Also, can you angleset a lefty? My guess is no.
  • + 1
 I had a lefty max a several years ago, and it was a decent fork, but you'd lose travel due to bearing migration and have to reset the bearings after a big hit. I got to the point that I'd bring the wrench with me and do it on the trail. Maybe they have that fixed now. I could ride it on XC trails all day long and it'd be fine, but a high-speed hit or bad landing from a jump would migrate the bearings.
  • + 1
 New versions of the Lefty don't need to be reset.
  • + 6
 I'm flat out tired of looking @ the lefty.I don't care if it's superior in every way. Looks dumb. I said it
  • + 2
 I'll second it.
  • + 3
 '..the Habit SE.. - it's a pumped up version of the Carbon 1 that sports a 130mm Lefty, larger tires, and a more gravity-oriented component spec'.

This one^. Show me this NOOOOOOWWW!! Sounds like a good xc bike for people who don't 'gel' with xc bikes.
  • + 6
 Wonder if it will be an easy Habit to break?
  • + 5
 Probably a Habit you wouldn't want in the first place.
  • + 1
 "Lessons learned from racing enduro and XC led designers to move the shock to the top tube in order to make room for a water bottle or tool storage on the down tube" wow pretty recent findings huh......not at all like when people would review bikes negatively well over 2 decades ago if they didnt have room for a bottle (and not just slung under the downtube in all the muck)......thank god for enduro racing to figure it out. i like the look of the bike a lot but are we really expected to just believe any old nonsense they tell us.

but that said i am glad of the 142 x 12 :-)
  • + 2
 They needed a lesson to learn the obvious??/
  • + 1
 I still ride my Prophet as the only advance single pivots have really made is weight and better stock shocks. I also have Nokian Studded tyres for Ontario Ice Storm tiding! No carbon - its OK but so what - I still like my ride!
  • + 1
 the most unique aspect of Cannondale's Lefty is their offset.

50mm and on a bike with a 68 degree HA. That's pushing it....

I would think there would be an entire paragraph in the review given to how that felt. All I know is after having to slap an X-Fusion Sweep onto my bike while "X" goes in for warranty again, I am blown away by the difference the added offset makes (and the Sweep is 46mm which is relatively long compared to all others) in a very positive way.

Maybe Cracknfail is onto something.
  • + 4
 Oh wait, Didn't Marco Osborne smoke all the Dher's on a lefty? That's right..
  • + 2
 "We wanted to ensure there were no pedal strikes, so we gave it a 13.1" BB height"

AHAHAHAHHAHA.... RIP anyones pedals and shoes...

Seriously, that's .3" LOWER than the already-notorious-for-pedal-strikes Nomad 3.
  • + 1
 1" higher than my RM Element... :/
  • + 15
 The Habit has less suspension travel than the Nomad, so it rides higher in the sagged position and thus the two bottom bracket heights are not a relvent comparison. Hardtails can have much more BB drop without risking pedal strikes for the same reason.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham
Sure, and the same is true for XC bikes... but they're not marketing this as an XC bike, they're marketing it as an aggressive trail bike. If I'm on an XC bike, or a hardtail I'm going to tiptoe through the rock gardens, on a modern trail bike I'm going to straightline it, which may result in a pedal bash or three.

The Rocky Mountain Element for example has similar geometry, the same travel, and an even lower BB height at 13" (depending slightly on your chip setting). The difference is Rocky Mountain doesn't even bother pretending you're not going to see pedal strikes. The line "while maintaining enough pedal clearance to keep the cranks churning through rock gardens." just reeks of New Marketing. If you have a bb height in the low 13" range on a FS bike, you expect to see pedal strikes, that's just a fact of riding. Claiming the .1" or .2" or whatever difference from what you could have had will let you pedal through a rock garden is laughable. Going to a 170mm crank from a 175mm crank would have the same/bigger impact.
  • + 2
 It really depends on the bike for so many reasons. I think you should give it a rest on this argument.
  • + 1
 I'm actually really taken by the Habit, I already have a 140/160mm bike so I can see this one fitting in right where I want it to, I'm looking for a light weight hardcore XC bike, something you could happily do stage races like the BC Bike Race on, yet not something too "XC". As long as the bike is stiff enough and from what I read it is, it'll be perfect.
  • + 2
 "It feels roomy, though, because the steep, 74-degree seat angle effectively lengthens the bike's front-center and its wheelbase"

Can someone smarter than me please explain how this works?
  • + 1
 I think its just a case of thinking 'what' relative to 'what'.

The previous line mentioned a TopTube length (headtube to saddle). Now imagine the same bike with a steeper seat tube; the saddle will be further forward and if the top tube length is the same it means the headtube will also be further forward. I think..... Haha
  • + 1
 Front centre is measured from bb centre to front axle centre, If you imagine the toptube length as a fixed frame size and adjust head angle or seat tube angle the front centre length can be longer/shorter. If I slacken my fork by 2 degrees it would push my front axle out front of the bike lenghtening my front centre, but if I slacken the seatpost angle it would put the bb closer to the front axle and shorten my front centre.
  • + 1
 Your explanations make sense. It's kinda what I imagined. What doesn't make sense, to me, is the original statement in the review, its a bit like saying, 'the bike would've been different... if it had been built differently'. Yes, the concept remains that it moves the toptube forward, except the toptube length is not fixed, it's up to the guys who... you know... decide the seat angle.
  • + 1
 When designing a frame the toptube length is pretty standard 24 inch(large) plus/ minus a 1/4 inch, new school enduro says it's now a medium but whatever, If i determine my optium head/seat angles I don't chop length out of the toptube to preserve wheelbase, I keep toptube length fixed for frame size and can adjust chainstay to reel in the wheelbase (front centre + rear centre) Of course bike type XC/DH will go a long way to determine all geo angles and even frame sizes, XC toptubes are usually a bit longer that DH applications
  • + 1
 That's why it doesn't make sense then, when I'm designing bikes I start by drawing a rollerskate and work backwards.
  • + 5
 If that washer was any closer to the rotor...
  • + 1
 You mean the one beneath the rear brake mounting bolt... cuz that's the same on literally every disc brake bike there is.
  • + 4
 That is super tight compared to my brake
  • + 2
 @VTwintips.....No its not.... In fact literally every bike I've put together has not been that tight of a fit.....
  • + 1
 I think its just the angle because that gap is a legit gap lol.
  • + 4
 Cannonball so totally left me in the lurch with unmaintainable proprietary suspension. Never again - I dont trust them.
  • + 0
 *cracknfail*
  • + 0
 I have a limited view perhaps but I just don't like the look of the feel of a lefty. The price tag is a bit much, it's kinda arrogant for Cannondale to think they can command such a price given what is available from other brands.
  • + 0
 What does the "look of the feel of the Left" feel like? or look like? :/
Considering an XO1 SC Solo can run you almost 9k, I'd say this is reasonably priced.
  • + 4
 Looks like it feels like it won't feel like it looks?
  • + 1
 2015 XO1 SC 5010CC retails at about $6500. till you slap on the Enve wheels......
  • + 3
 Pretty good weight considering its a trail bike for that kinda price.... Anyone know the weight of the 12 k one?
  • + 1
 put the lockout that you'll touch a few times a ride in the easy to use left-hand, under bar spot, put the dropper button on the top right(also known as "bad" "annoying" & "this is dumb".) Yep, looks like a Cannondale.
  • + 3
 very expensive, why so expensive??
  • - 2
 Still trying to repay the "aerospace" industry for those lefty's? I know they function well but they look like total bags of shit....
  • + 16
 might have something to do with the full carbon frame, carbon wheels, carbon fork, and XX1/X01 mix
  • + 3
 oh that would explane it then
  • + 1
 With all the well known euphemisms about breaking habits and bad habits you would think bike companies would avoid this particular name.
  • + 1
 I'd consider this for XC racing too, it's light enough and I've been looking for an XC racer with slacker geo than a WC racer.
  • + 1
 "The simple single-pivot rear suspension tends to stiffen up under braking"

Are you still serious about perpetuating this misconception RC?
  • + 5
 I ride a lot of different bikes. I don't think my assessment was a misconception.
  • + 1
 When you brake, the rear has the tendency to get unweighted, as weight shifts forward. A single pivot combats this more with higher squat, but typically not enough to fully counter it. A horst link has far less squat and allows far more forward weight shift, netting more extension under braking. A typical rear susp with an air spring is stiff-soft-stiff, so this keeps you in the stiffer portion of travel that requires more force per mm of travel, on top of more force to counter the force that is extending the susp. A bike that counters this weight shift full keeps the bike more stable/level. Requiring less force to compress the shock, such as in the softer mid-stroke portion of the travel, should not feel stiffer.

Some of the few bikes out there that nearly fully counters the the forward weight shift are the Yeti SB5c/SB6c and Orbea Occam TR. One of the bikes that is worst at countering it is the Liteville 301 MK 10, which your review contradicts and I highly question the veracity of. Low squat makes it easy to do Euro Switchback flicks, since the rear is so unweighted under braking.
  • - 1
 why are these 'reviews' constantly 90% spec talk (i.e. marketing) and then a little 10% review at the bottom. And don't answer "because we haven't properly rode the bike enough". Well...then...ride it more and wait to write a proper review.
  • + 1
 Looks like you were ripping it up at Mission trails am I right, did any of those MPs give you any beef?
  • + 2
 142x12 rear end? Hallelujah Cannondale! You guys rock!
  • + 1
 Where in San Diego did PinkBike test this? Wanted to see the type of terrain.
  • + 2
 weight in kgs and pound! finally, pinkbike, finally!
  • + 2
 I bet this bike is amazing.. but it sure is ugly
  • + 2
 Try and imagine it with a 120-130mm Pike, sell that front strut,(someone would be all over that thing) i think it would look pretty sweet then.
  • + 2
 Its weird how big bike companies are borderline communist with their offerings but prices keep rising (at least c dale has a unique fork even though its fugly)..... Nike should make bikes.....

Seriously...... Why would someone choose this over a one off custom bike at these prices? Hmmm......A custom TI all mountain hard tail with Industry 9's And whatever brakes I choose to run With whatever fork I want or this mass produced bike....

This bike has no soul....Its a pop star.... So is the "industry" I guess....
  • - 7
flag Alias530 (Aug 5, 2015 at 7:01) (Below Threshold)
 Even if Lefty's are as stiff as conventional forks (I can't imagine how they would be without being WAY heavy) they are so damn ugly. Cannondale in general is really ugly too.
  • + 1
 @twinsdad Maybe because they want a full suspension bike rather than a hardtail? There's also something to be said for the level of engineering in this bike vs a custom bike with tripple butted tubes from the early 2000s.

They also start this family at $1,900, so I'm not quite sure why you think the prices are always rising. Fancy bikes have always been expensive- a ti/carbon Specialized Epic hardtail cost about the same in the mid 1990s. Not to mention that it's hard to keep costs down when you invest in brand new carbon molds. Once the molds are about 4 years old then you can start complaining about prices not dropping.
  • + 9
 I don't think the Lefty is ugly. It just looks different. How can PBers not like a trail fork that looks like a dh fork? Wink
  • + 5
 maybe cause it looks more like half of a dh fork..?
  • + 6
 Lefties are stiffer than conventional forks.
  • + 3
 That's what I wanted to hear^

And it just makes me love it more for the fact it's lack of a leg upsets so many people.
  • + 1
 @src248 so sayeth Cannondale marketing materials. If it was true, everyone would design forks that way.
  • - 1
 I've never read Cannondales take on their lefty fork, but I've still picked up the murmur that they track like a train.
  • + 5
 @Alias530 Not necessarily. 1.) C'dale would be stupid to make such an easily verified claim if it were false. 2.) They patented the hell out of the thing which would make it a very expensive proposition for any other manufacturer to use legally.
  • + 3
 Cedric used to slay 4x on one about 10 years ago, and they've improved things even more since then. You can always tell who hasn't ridden a Lefty because they're the only ones who hate on it.
  • + 1
 I have ridden one, one of the newer versions in fact. And it rode great, but I'm vain, and I want my bike to look awesome.
  • + 0
 @ka-brap using "a pro uses it just fine" as an argument in favor of the average Joe using it is a retarded thing to say
  • + 4
 Not really, Gracia used to smash it about at top level fourX, when the courses certainly would've exposed a poor product as important as the fork. I know what you're saying, they could ride anything fast, but see if you can find some videos of him racing 4x and tell me whether it looks like his fork (sorry.. Strut) is holding him back. Whether you like the look is debatable but whether they do the job well is simply engineering. As ever, see back end of Ducati 916 and any similar monoswingarm design.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham do you think the Habit would be a good option for the BC Bike Race?
  • + 1
 I like their approach to BB height!
  • + 3
 I like what some dude said in an article I read, think it was the dude from mojo but can't be sure, paraphrased 'change one aspect of mtb geometry and you will make one thing better and one thing worse....'

I won't say higher, but a less low bb has its advantages. Same as a less slack headtube has its advantages. All depends on usage right? It's all very well to be sat 'in' a long, low slung, slack HA, easy rider chopper but let's be honest they don't come into their own until mach2 in the supergnar. And mach2 in the supergnar is not the entirety of enjoying bikes. If it was, Danny McMegaskills wouldn't have a job.
  • + 1
 Low BBs suck for technical uphills that require pedaling.
  • + 1
 My first bike was a Spec' Hardrock 26er that had a low bb and was prone to a lot of pedal strikes, drove me nuts. All my newer bikes don't have that problem.
  • + 1
 I thought 13.1" was slightly on the low side, for a 120mm bike. I see more XCish bikes with 100mm of stiffer feeling suspension with 13.2" BBs. Leave it to RC to not include metric dimensions. Converts to 333mm (335mm for 13.2").
  • + 1
 @tobiusmaximum

"at Mach 2 in the supergnar" is now my go to phrase. thanks man.
  • + 1
 So is the big 'Dale dropping 29ers slowly but surely?
  • + 1
 I have a GREEN habit already thanks!
  • + 1
 That is the nicest 2002 James Dakar I have ever seen!
  • + 0
 No Boost 148? I think I'll pass. I don't want my bike to be obsolete the next year after I buy it.
  • + 1
 Seriously. Not buying a bike unless its boosted now, that way it accepts 2 diff wheel sizes.
Either 26+/275 OR 275+/29. 2 for 1(if u want)
  • + 1
 so is boost all about plus? I thought it was all about 29s? What's the crack? Is boost being marketed to satisfy the use of wide ass tyres, which, beyond snow and desert use, is being marketed to us too?
  • + 1
 Boost allows for both sizing options. Sign me up. That's why you see pikes and non boost parts going for less than cost in many cases. I havnt tried plus size, but reviews suggest they're gtg and I've always preffered bigger tires under me (maxxis 2.5 seem small to me). Carbon and tire construction allow for negligent weight disadvantage.
Lower psi, more traction, more sidewall, more fun (switch to 29 set for ur xc races)
  • + 1
 Boost is wider hub spacing, for a stronger wheel, but typically comes with more tire clearance, unless they used the clearance to tuck the chainstays in to be even shorter. Can run any size rim on it for your wheel size. The Pivot 429Trail is a bike that recently came out with boost front and rear, without plus sized tires.
  • + 1
 Okay that's cool, gimme the upheaval of new standards for a stronger wheel, that speaks to me, for the use of huge tyres it doesn't. Nothing against them, just not sure they should be directing things so to speak.
  • + 1
 I could really strut my shit with that bike...
  • + 1
 And they're already out of stock for suspension service parts.
  • + 1
 Surprised to see them use a single pivot design.
  • - 3
 I don't care if the Lefty is so amazing that it could quite possibly cure world poverty and restore peace to the universe - it's still the ugliest looking thing i have ever seen on a bike.
  • + 0
 Looks like a Specialized Camber.
  • + 1
 Dat geat cable tho!
  • - 1
 This means that their might be an fsi 650b soon. With 27.5 lefties. Yey.
  • + 0
 Leftys are so ugly!
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